How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC
After topping the times at the end of British Touring Car Championship pre-season testing, it feels like Gordon Shedden has never been away. But after plenty of changes behind the scenes, the three-time champion is bedding himself in to pick up where he left off
He was always a wiry chap anyway. But blimey, he’s looking trim at the age of 42. That’s Gordon Shedden, three-time British Touring Car champion, one of the country’s greatest front-wheel-drive tin-top battlers of all time, the guy who’s making a return to the BTCC this weekend at Thruxton after three years away. The Scot who’s back in his adopted Midlands family of Team Dynamics.
Shedden is relaxing with Autosport on a beautiful sunny April day at Silverstone, next to the humble little camper van (insert joke about Scots being frugal here) that he’s driven down from home in Fife. It’s lunchtime on the BTCC media day, and three hours later his Honda Civic Type R will lay down a marker on an end-of-day performance run that leaves rival eyes watering and the famous #52 at the top of the times. Yeah, he’s back in the groove already.
Expectations were high for the start of the British Touring Car Championship’s hybrid power era, and despite nerves and problems to solve prior to its debut the new rules gained widespread approval. Here’s how the first test at Donington Park was passed and the thorough examinations that are to follow
Reigning BTCC champion Ash Sutton and Porsche Carrera Cup GB victor Dan Cammish form a potent line-up at the Motorbase-run NAPA Racing team as the series adopts hybrid power. With Sutton bringing the key components of his title-winning Laser Tools Racing set-up, and Cammish eager to prove a point on his return, their dynamic is set to be one of the season's major talking points
Veteran team manager Marvin Humphries and former Tech-Speed team boss has worked not only with stars of the British Touring Car Championship, but legends including Gil de Ferran, Hans Stuck and Tom Sneva in a long and varied career that has spanned five decades across tin-tops, single-seaters and sportscars
Having started out in club-level competitions alongside his own university engineering studies, Josh Cook's journey to becoming an established frontrunner in the British Touring Car Championship is atypical. But it's these experiences that have moulded the 30-year-old into a humble star, respected throughout the paddock
A refresh in equipment and some returning faces helped contribute to a supremely competitive 2021 British Touring Car Championship campaign. Ash Sutton was crowned a three-time champion, successfully defending his 2020 title, but faced stiff competition in the final year before the switch to hybrid. Autosport picks out the best performers
Ballast will be gone from the BTCC next year as hybrid power enters the scene, but for its final season the maximum was increased from 60kg to 75kg. Despite having to carry that nearly all season, Ash Sutton was always the favourite to pocket a third title - the 27-year-old getting his reward for a season of speed tempered by savvy to nail his opportunities
OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'
Cammish secures BTCC return with BTC Racing